When the state replaces the interstate bridges over the Red Cedar River, pedestrians and bikers may benefit as well as drivers.
On Monday, the Menomonie City Council unanimously voted to endorse a pedestrian bridge proposed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) when the eastbound and westbound spans on Interstate 94 are reconstructed in 2013-14.
According to City Engineer Charlie Jones, about a month ago, the DOT took a look at the project. “They agree they should be encouraging pedestrian/bicycle traffic,” he told the council. “They’ve come up with a proposal that there be a separate, stand-along bridge in between the two interstate bridges.”
DOT will pay 100 percent of the cost — an estimated $800,00 to $1 million — within the right of way. “It does fit into the overall bike concept for the city,” Jones said, noting that both the Plan Commission and Bike Advisory Committee are in support of the project.
The foot bridge, which would be separate from and considerably lower than the vehicle crossings, requires the city to pay for the connections to existing bike trails on either side. On the east side, the bridge would connect to the Menomin Park trail along Lake Menomin’s east shore and to an easement to be established in the housing development on the lake’s northwest shore in Wakanda Park.
The cost for the connections would be about $400,000, of which a DOT grant would pay about 80 percent, Jones said. He estimated that the city’s portion would be about $17,500, while the section of 10-foot wide asphalt trail from Lake Menomin to the trail on Stokke Parkway would be covered by the TID district.
In other action
In other business, the council:
• Elected members Ed Smith, Sandy White and Andrew Mercil to a subcommittee to examine and prioritize the summary of goals and objectives that resulted from the council's recent strategic planning session. Among the short-term goals is having a council member representative serve on the Main Street of Menomonie, Inc. board of directors. The subcommittee will bring their recommendations to the full council for approval.
• Approved an extension for another five years of the Meadow Hill Drive archery hunting zone for whitetail deer. To keep herd numbers under control, property owners along the road allow licensed bow hunters to hunt on their land during the archery season.
• Awarded the extension of utilities and reconstruction of Wilson Street to service the newly annexed Ideal Mobile Home Park to low bidder (at $227,461.46) RM Schlosser Excavating.